Category Archives: bikepacking

New Years SUB24

A group of 4.  Bikepack out to Tonto on some cross bikes for some celebration.

Reach 11

toxic fix-a-flat at the QT. I was impossible to ride behind John up Cave Creek Rd. without getting sprayed with this.


some Niner sweetness.

more fix-a-flat

someone should have told us about this place before we split...

3rd creek crossing

oh. my.

morning sometimes comes all to early

heading downhill with a tailwind. fast.


classic SUB24.

Happy New Year!

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SUB 24



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Black Canyon Trail from Hwy 69 to Maricopa Trail to Cave Creek Park.

An overnight bikepacking excursion like no other.  Karen and Tegan were kind enough to break out of the house early the day after Thanksgiving to drive me to Mayer, AZ and drop me off.

I was on the trail at about 8.

from this sign near Hwy 69 to the Maricopa Trail was about 65 miles of bliss.

lots of ranch activity all the way

big skies and long roads & trails

gate to some ripping track

meandering sweetness

dropping into the sweetness

lunch and a sip

gate with a bike roll over that leads to an old stagecoach track a few miles down the trail. rough.

one of several Agua Fria river crossings

this river crossing proved to be my only needed area (aside from a beer stop and water refill at Anthem) to filter water for on the trail

gotta love the pro bike sentiment at the top of a long hill

looking South towards the New River mountains at the campsite just N. of Table Mesa and the all night ATV riding and gunfire

Table Mesa (flat top hill just left of center) just prior to Sunrise

from my camp to New River Road was some of the most entertaining trail.  There was a demanding climb just S. of  Table Mesa, but once down that and on it was sublime.

looking South, this was at the end of a very windy and twisty fun morning section of riding from Table Mesa. From this point on, the BCT Trail got kind of flat - but still has a few sections of nice single-track to New River Rd. After a day and a half of casual touring pace, this view was invigorating.

some old school BCT signage. It was interesting to see the progression of the trail since the 1990's. I remember riding a few times from New River Rd. North and seeing these signs - generally leading you somewhere but usually just confusing you. A lot has changed in this section. Newer signage and newer single-track.

A very windy time heading through this area. After crossing New River Rd., the trail turns into this, crosses New river and continues onward to Carefree Highway.

Money. The connection I have been looking forward to for a while. An intersection of the Maricopa Trail and the Black Canyon Trail. From this point the Maricopa Trail traverses East and West - West to Lake Pleasant (another ride to be seen shortly...) and East to Cave Creek park and Spur Cross.

Maricopa Trail goes under I-17 near Daisy Mountain Rd.

from this point I took the MT on to Cave Creek Park after a break for a sandwich and beer in Anthem.  At the park, I decided to call in for a ride back to home.  It was a great solo ride and I will certainly be doing that again soon while the temps are cool.


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AKA the “Tin Foil Hat Tour”

Sedona to Verde Hot Springs.  A few of us got together for some riding and hot springs.  Only one thing was required of everyone who was going.  A Tin Foil Hat.

I brought and wore mine.

It was comfortable.

We started out by fueling for the fire.

Kelly Slater has his own beer?

In the morning, we set out on our mission.  Some sweet red rock riding.

some road riding to the trails


der Hammah. Checking out his front hub flange and it's big failure.

After the trails and a break, we hit the road.  I thought it was a group ride thing, but the others has other ideas when the peloton formed without me.

the single singlespeeder gets 'the look' before the breakaway to the main pack.

of tin foil hats and chemtrails

back on the dirt, things got serious.

somewhere in the middle

beer break at Clear Creek

checking the GPS -and another beer break. Courtesy Yuri

Fossil Creek

that pool and swing rope looked pretty tempting at about 2 pm.

at the top before the plunge into the Verde River

made it to the hot springs.  Great day on the bike.  ThirtyTwoTwenty!

I stayed in the nice warm water and conversed about tinfoil hats for about 3 hours after the ride.  The next morning I went back and spent some more time in the refreshing pool.

Nudity.   Rednecks, college age kids, us, them, those guys over there – a pretty wide range of people.

decommissioned Childs Power Plant - sits across the river from the Verde Hot Springs

So, the planned overnighter bikepack ride turned into a bikepack-SAG supported-Natural Hot Springs-Tin Foil Hat tour all in one.

Great stuff.

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you are here

a nice bikeway. click on images for full effect!!

I had a mind to go ride some AZT out by Flagstaff.  I got snowed out of that plan.

A backup plan Sub 24 – Tonto was required.  I packed up.  Cloud cover and cool temps for the next 19 hours had me pretty stoked for a ride and a camp.

I started by riding over to Sunday Cycles to get some chamois cream.  Nice guys hooked me up all gratis like with Miller Lite and a pack of the cream.   Wearing  DC socks apparently, besides being ultra swank,  have additional priceless value.  I wonder if I had worn the full kit what would have happened?.. at any rate, it was an awesome start for my yearly birthday ride event.

I hopped back on the Salsa and got to it.

Reach 11

I made an odd choice of taking Cave Creek Road most of the way to my destination.  While it is most direct, it is not mostly quiet.  That would change soon enough.  My private reserve at the Tonto was getting near!

After refueling at the Circle K in Cave Creek for the camp out, I hit Spur Cross Road.  Things turned to dirt.  Things got quiet.

Road 48 (aka Spur Cross Road) goes into the Tonto Nat. Forest about 5 miles.  It just kind of ends.  An old F150 truck remains and some artsy pictographs from long ago litter the area.  But that was not my destination.  That takes to long to get to and the camping is sub-par.

I was a little worried after the 4th creek crossing.  It seems the yellow flowers have overtaken the creek bed and sucked all the water out.  It was nice to hang out in a creek of flowers for a bit.  They do smell nice.

Not a soul around.  Just me and the Sonoran Desert (and my bike..).  Water was still flowing in some areas, but most other areas were surface dry.

I pressed on to the spot.  The creek cuts into a nice little  narrow canyon.  Deep and cozy.  Not a lot of places to camp.  Most all the obvious spots are like day areas and have seldom used fire rings for the horsemen type among us.   My spot is on a sand bar located after some bushwhacking and HAB near and under a large stand of cottonwood trees.  Sweet.


Once I settled myself, I sparked up a fire.  Not many places 27 miles or nearer to my house that I can build a legal open fire anywhere I want.

the moon was pretty bright, which made for some nice bat viewing.

I wish I had a quarter to put next to this guy.

A decent sleep under the stars and cottonwoods.

this kept me warm in the late evening

Next morning, after anguishing my departure from the sleeping bag (I mean really, every-time I sleep in that thing..), I had my obligatory coffee and a celebratory brew.

coffee preparation

premium breakfast

Riding out of camp is quick.  It’s all downhill!

the yellow flower creek

back down to the house on a 2-speed. I nailed my derailleur on a large rock just as I was coming out of the last yellow flower creek crossing and it bent the dropout. I pulled my seat post out and used it to bend it back. Best I could get it to shift is 2 gears. Rear mech is toast.

you are here.

I was there.  I put myself where I wanted to be and I was there.  The sign told me so.

well, kinda there.


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out for a loop

After numerous bikepacking events from my house that were usually out and backs, a rare 2-night loop presented itself to Yuri and myself.

Headed out of the house around 11 on a Friday and back to it at 9 on Sunday.

about 125 miles of bliss

South from the house to the Russian Compound. Out to Tempe via canal and Papago Park.   Swing by Daves Electric for some non-hops and over to a bush pusher for a round or two before heading up a hill to camp out.

Next morning, a drop down some local sweet, a quick review of pump track lines, a greenbelt ride, a nice singletrack in Paradise, some road riding, a picture of me at a bikeshop and some final miles to camp #2.  My local favorite.  Spur Cross/Tonto.

the trainee

OMG. I am sold.

camp. I ended up sleeping right next to the fire.

great night for sleeping under a full moon

Out the next morning in a leisure manner.  Once on the road, we pinned it at ‘go fast’ and I was greeted at home with some fresh coffee.


Truly, good stuff.

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February sub24

I spent yesterday afternoon rebuilding my eccentric.  The thing just gets dirty and makes noise.  I dislike that.

dirty mess causing noisy mess

forgive me, but I like the way the frame works with the oversize BB shell. Maybe a BB30 compatible frame is in my future.

kids and bikes. helmets are good for us.

So I put the bike together and the Russian swung by to meet to go to wherever we were going.  While riding we decided upon the Pima and Dynamite area to make our camp.

a small fire and someones 2nd course

oh my.

it has been a while since I have ridden on the P&D trails. Still sandy. Still a lot of fun.

end ride

A great sub 24 overnighter in the desert.  A sleeping bag would have been handy.  It was super cold.

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